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Nations League heartache for Schär

Written by Luke Vinton

Newcastle United defender Fabian Schär was unable to guide Switzerland into the Nations League final after suffering a 3-1 semi-final defeat to Portugal.

The Swiss centre-back - making his 49th international cap in Porto - played the full 90 minutes but the 27-year-old was left dejected as Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick, which included two strikes in the final three minutes of the tie, sealed the hosts' spot in Sunday's final.

Ronaldo broke the deadlock with a first-half free kick until the Red Crosses levelled in controversial fashion when Ricardo Rodríguez netted a VAR-awarded penalty - after referee Felix Brych initially signalled for a penalty at the other end before giving a spot-kick for Nélson Semedo's foul on Steven Zuber.

Schär could be in line for his 50th cap when Switzerland compete against either England or Netherlands in the third-place play-off on Sunday, 9th June (kick-off 2pm BST).

Elsewhere, Miguel Almirón - who was named in Paraguay's 23-man squad for this summer's Copa América - did not feature in La Albirroja's 1-1 friendly draw against Honduras.

United goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka could be in action on Thursday night as Slovakia host Jordan in a friendly (kick-off 7.30pm BST) before taking on Azerbaijan in a Euro 2020 qualifier on Tuesday evening (kick-off 5pm BST). 

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